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The Brydone Jack Observatory

The Brydone Jack Observatory - Cover

Articles by J.E. Kennedy
Professor of Physics
University of New Brunswick

This booklet includes three of Professor J.E. Kennedy's articles detailing his extensive research on the history of the Brydone Jack Observatory. They first appeared in the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Journal in 1955 and 1956, following the unveiling of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque marking UNB's observatory as the "First Astronomical Observatory in Canada". The University arranged to have these articles collected and published in this form in 1957.


The campus of New Brunswick's provincial university has long been known as the "Poets' Corner of Canada". Here it was that Canada's early poets and prose writers received their education and their inspriation. the names of Bliss Carman, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, and Francis Joseph Sherman, among others, stand prominently in the history of Canada's literary development.

The University of New Brunswick is equally proud of its scientific tradition. Since the early years of the 19th century, the study of the sciences was actively pursued by such men as James Robb, William Brydone Jack, and later, Loring Woart Bailey. It is to these pioneers that the University must look for the origins of its present-day departments of biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics and engineering.

This booklet tells about some of the achievements of William Brydone Jack - professor of mathematics, natural philosophy and astronomy; president of the University of New Brunswick, 1861-1885. Canada's first astronomical osbservatory was built by Brydone Jack on the campus in Fredericton. The building has been preserved as an historic site and it stands as a testimony to the scientific spirit which guided the men who laid the foundations for the university of the 20th century.

Colin B. Mackay